BUDGET CUTS TO ICAC RISK LETTING NEXT OBEID OR TRIPODI OFF THE HOOK: GREENS

 

The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has today recommended charges be considered against former NSW Labor ministers Eddie Obeid, Joe Tripodi and Tony Kelly, after finding they engaged in serious corrupt conduct.

 

Jamie Parker, Greens MP for Balmain and anti-corruption spokesperson, said:

“These findings highlight the depths of corruption in the former Labor Government and how NSW must remain vigilant.

"The fact three former ministers collaborated in this corrupt conduct demonstrates an entrenched culture of blatant disregard for the people of NSW.

"Even today, allegations of corrupt conduct against state political leaders continue with claims about foreign political donations and the allocation of water. Yet the Liberal State Government has drastically restructured the ICAC and starved it of the funds it has requested to expose corruption and misconduct. 

"A strong independent corruption fighting body is vital so the public can be satisfied our democracy is not tainted and our rights are protected.

"If the government continues with its cuts to ICAC funding and changes to its structure they will be responsible for letting the next Obeid or Tripodi off the hook.

"Corruption is a crime that has very real victims, and this decision should compel the Premier to immediately inject additional funds into the ICAC to boost its corruption fighting capacity.

"The ICAC is only able to fully investigate a small proportion of the matters referred to it, and there is no doubt that ICAC could be even more effective with the additional resources it requested. 

 

"This decision again highlights the need for a Federal ICAC, which both Federal Labor and Liberal continue to dodge. 

"Rather than starving ICAC of funding and changing its structure, the government should immediately move to strengthen anti-corruption laws.

"The Commonwealth and other states in Australia have specific statutory offences to address misconduct by public officials. NSW corruption law need modernising and the government should introduce laws to codify the offences of misconduct in public office, pecuniary interest in government contracts, bribery and conspiracy to defraud, as previously proposed by the ICAC."

Jamie Parker is available for immediate interview.

Media contact: Jamie Parker 0418 428 089


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